There’s a little street in Notting Hill that has long been one of my very favourite spots, All Saints Road. It’s not exactly like “a best kept secret,” as it’s well-known by the locals, but it does somehow get overlooked by tourists. It’s a sort little street with a few places to eat, several boutiques and a few design shops with luxe bathtubs and fabric swatches in the windows.
On Tuesday morning, I found myself with a few hours to myself. I wandered around my little Shepherds Bush loop for a moment and when I passed the underground station, decided to enjoy my momentary freedom and hopped on the train to Notting Hill. It’s funny how segmented London can be, when really, it's just a couple of minutes away to our old neighbourhood.
I walked out of the tube station and decided to head to All Saints Road to have a quiet morning, rather than wander Portobello Road or Westbourne Grove. When I got there, there was a movie being quietly filmed (there’s always cool stuff happening in London!), a few other people on the road, and then a quiet buzz coming from The Tin Shed. I stumbled in and snagged a sunny table by the door, ordered up a Whole30 compliant breakfast (10 more days!) of a poached egg, mashed avocado with chilli oil & roasted tomatoes, and just melted in the sunshine for an hour.
The atmosphere in The Tin Shed is exactly what I didn’t know I wanted when I left the house today. There were friends hugging after seeing each other since the holidays, patrons wandering in with tiny puppies at their feet, crusty bread loaves being sliced while the waitstaff laughed with each other, and the constant hum and clanging from the barista as she made coffee after coffee.
After a while, I had read all the New York Times mobile articles my eyes could handle, so I paid the bill and shuffled out of the shop with a smile. These little places are the types of places that make me really love London. They’re places that I’ll always miss if we were to move away. I always stare at the details here, as if I absorb them enough, I’d be able to recreate a place like it back in the States somewhere… until I start doubting the ability to get great sourdough loaves everyday like they can. Or if US health & safety allows for pastries to be sat along the counter in open air like they do here. And all the other questions that make me just nestle back into my chair and try to stop overthinking the experience and to enjoy this place in this moment.
If you’re looking for a place to go in Notting Hill where Londoners actually go, go here. And go in the middle of the week when the timing feels unexceptional. That’s when you’ll get to really be a part of the daily grind and life of London, and that’s when it will be the most charming.
THE TIN SHED | 33 All Saints Rd, London W11 1HE | @thetinshednottinghill
Find more of my favourite places in Notting Hill in my Notting Hill travel guide.
*images original to Aspiring Kennedy